Continuing from the last post, here you go with three more days from the hike I recently came back from. Still reciting from my notebook and adding photos I’ve taken. Enjoy!:
As mentioned in yesterday’s writing, today has been a rest day. I woke up at 7:30AM with Dad, who set off to Surtningssue for his second (and more optimistic) try. When he came back in the late afternoon, he’d made it to the peak and back, accompanied by a guy named James who is from New Zealand. Sounds nice!
As for me, I did two easy workouts for upper body strength during my rest day. I also read in a book simply called “Jotunheimen”, which I found in the hut’s lounge, and I went outside to discover the area around the hut and snapped some photos. It was a nice rest day, and I feel ready (and reloaded) for a long hike tomorrow!
One of the photos I snapped during rest day. The coast of the lake Gjende, with Sjugurdstinden to the right dominating the photo.
Today it rained and blew. A lot.
We started from Memurubu at about 9AM, and the first 4 hours were very rainy and windy, to put it that way. I got soaked through my Gore-Tex pants and shoes after a little while, because the wind kind of smashed the water onto them with lots of force. The worst soaking-problem was nevertheless that my Dad’s backpack rain cover simply blew away and flew down to a large valley. “Shit, it’s gone down to the cows now… I just heard a ripping noise and saw it taking off!” Dad said as we met shortly after the incident. Though if there’s one thing we’ve experienced after countless hikes, it is that you always wrap everything in your backpack in plastic bags. Therefore, Dad didn’t have more to worry about than to place the soaked backpack in the drying room as soon as we got to the next hut. None of his items had become soaked.
For today’s route, we thought a bit back and forth before we decided on heading to Gjendebu (6 hours from Memurubu), soaked as we were, and having used a lot of energy on keeping warm. We had originally planned to go to Olavsbu, a self-service hut about 10 hours from Memurubu, and the way to there is a nice one to walk. Though with the fact that we were kind of soaked and that Olavsbu don’t have a drying room, we headed for Gjendebu instead, which had been an option all along, and that we had half-planned to head for if weather got bad, like it did today.
The last 2 hours of today’s hike was nice, because the rain stopped and the sun partly shone. I even got to the point of luxury that is taking off my rain jacket. We arrived Gjendebu at 3PM, took showers (erhm… muddy feet from “the soak”) and got a two-bed room for ourselves. The facts that the hike had only went on for 6 hours (not very long for my physical abilities), that we didn’t have to share the room with anyone and that I was now energized after a hot shower and cup of coffee; I had this week’s first upper body strength workout in our room in the late afternoon. I did my daily stretch right afterwards.
We will now wait for tomorrow’s weather, and take it from there. The forecast says cloudy and only very little rain, but the weather is so local here; you never know what might come. If the weather decides to be very good and clear, we’ll take another peak tomorrow. If it’s cloudy, we’ll head on to another hut. I’m looking forward to both opportunities!
The weather today was much better than yesterday’s, even with the few showers of rain that occurred. We walked up a valley to a path parting, about 1 hour and 15 minutes from Gjendebu. We had partly-decided to go to a hut named Torfinnsbu today (7-8 hours from Gjendebu), but then the weather got better as we walked and an earlier suggestion on going to Skogadalsbøen came up again, and we thought we might as well use the weather and the opportunity to get to Skogadalsbøen instead, it being both of ours favorite hut in Jotunheimen. Thus, we ditched Torfinnsbu and set off towards Skogadalsbøen.
From Gjendebu to Skogadalsbøen is a 9-10 hour hike in various surroundings. The hike was very nice, until the last valley, Skogadalen. Translated, Skogadalen means something like “Forest-valley”. Pretty much; it’s a place there might be moose or other such animals. The valley was nothing other than beautiful if we talk about its looks, but I’m very über-scared of moose, cows and everything such. I walked alone, having gotten long in front of Dad earlier today when we walked over a million wet stones. My only thought as I walked through the valley; “Just get it done with this there-might-be-moose-here nightmare as soon as possible. You’ll see the hut about a minute before you get there, and first then you’re all safe.”
I did not meet a moose (*breathing out in relief like never before*). I didn’t meet much at all that day, when I think about it. Some very relaxed cows (even I wasn’t that afraid of them) close to Gjendebu, some birds and two groups of people (two people in matching green raincoats and three Danish men sitting by their camp).
I arrived Skogadalsbøen after 9 hours and 30 minutes on the path, and asked for a room and if we could have dinner a bit later than set, when Dad arrived some later. He arrived an hour later, after I’d showered and read some. We went straight for dinner, now half an hour after the other guests, and got served a delicious dinner. We got fish soup as appetizer, and I got the best vegetarian meal so far this hike for the main course; a large vegetarian tofu burger with a couple of toast slices and lots of different vegetables and various sauces. Salty, protein-rich and sour food was at its very place after a long hiking day.
As I mentioned, Skogadalsbøen is a very nice, serviced hut. You have to walk to get here, minimum 5 hours, and that does something to the atmosphere among the guests. No one took the boat or drove to it; all of us used our muscles to get here. Also, the owners are nice and service is great. The surroundings are beautiful with lush valleys and high-altitude forests (even with my major fear of all types of animals. I have a lot of respect for the animals, and that’s one of the reasons I do not eat them!).